Tobacco, alcohol and processed food industries – Why are they viewed so differently?

Katherine Smith           November 18, 2015

Cross-posted from Policy and Politics Blog

One of the few indisputable truths in life is that we will all, eventually, die but what we will die of, and at what age, is changing across the world, with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) increasingly accounting for excessive morbidity and mortality burdens. The growing prevalence of NCDs is triggering substantial policy concern, evident, for example, in the 2011 UN high level meeting on NCDs. Yet, it is clear there are very different ways of thinking about this ‘epidemiological transition’: it has been framed, on the one hand, as a consequence of the choices that individuals make and, on the other, as a consequence of the strategies that corporations pursue.

Continue reading Tobacco, alcohol and processed food industries – Why are they viewed so differently?

Corporate Portrayals and Perceptions in Public Health Debates

At the Eighth European Public Health Conference in Milan, Italy last week, public health researchers from the United States and the United Kingdom examined how portrayals of corporate practices that influenced health are portrayed in the media in the United States and Europe and how public health professionals and policy makers perceive the role of the alcohol, tobacco and food industries in shaping public policy. The session was sponsored by the University of Glasgow Social and Public Health Sciences Unit and the journal Policy &Politics. The presentations included:

NF
Nicholas Freudenberg
LD
Lori Dorfman
BH
Ben Hawkins
Left to right: Oliver Razum, Katherine Smith, Shona Hilton
Left to right: Oliver Razum, Katherine Smith, Shona Hilton

 

Nicholas Freudenberg (USA). The Influence of Corporate Business and Political Practices on NCD Risk. Download his presentation.

Heide Weishaar (UK) and Katherine Smith (UK). Better the devil you (don’t) know? A comparison of the tobacco, alcohol and processed food industries’ perceived political legitimacy. Download their presentation.

Lori Dorfman (USA). US news coverage of corporate actors in food and beverage policy debates. Download her presentation.

Benjamin Hawkins (UK). also presented on Tensions and contractions in policy discourses and media coverage of the alcohol industry.   You can read about his work here.

The session was chaired by Oliver Razum from Germany.